On Saturday September 6th the community of Garfield had a morning of activity at 20th Century Field Park on Elizabeth Street.
The day consisted of a 5K Run/Walk, Masala Bhangra®, Zumba®, a Family Fun Run, a Family Bike Ride and a Qi Gong Class. As well, there were apples, oranges and bananas free for all participants. While there was an entry fee for the 5K (that is an official Track and Field Certified Run) the rest of the activities were free to the entire community.
It was particularly exciting to offer Qi Gong to the community in the park. Qi Gong helps cultivate energy. Qi Gong is a holistic discipline that anyone can practice to create better health. Participants aged from middle school all the way to senior citizen. A community cultivating energy together in the park is a community that will continue to grow and work together.
The city of Garfield saw some tremendous opportunity and access throughout 2014 for increased wellness. Throughout the year the Garfield Y was hard at work with a project that looked to increase opportunity to fresh food and physical activity. When looking at the project there were many vehicles used; a garden to gather knowledge, fellowship, and nutrition; community events that built connections and friendships while sharing knowledge and activity; a commitment to keep fresh healthy food present at all community events; and last but not least, building an on-line community through social media to build awareness and connections on the topics of community health and fun.
Because we are unique individuals, a multi-faceted approach to creating increased wellness in a community is key. An abundance of opportunity delivered through various on ramps and vehicles will yield an integrated community. This is what makes us whole. This is what makes us complete. This is the definition of health. Opportunity is an idea. Choice is opportunity in action. Where prescriptions are failing this western culture, (because if they worked we would not have chronic disease) they Garfield Y has choices entering the arena in the fight against dis-ease. The study of whether more people attended Zumba or Qi Gong, liked to eat eggplants or tomatoes, is not going to yield the secret weapon needed to wage war on ailing health and building a community. That the opportunity is there to deliver Zumba or Qi Gong, that we can grow eggplants and tomatoes, this is where the substance of healing and improved health lay. For helping the Garfield Y deliver such opportunities with choices, Shaping NJ is at the forefront of change agents. The Garfield YMCA thanks Shaping NJ for helping us in our mission. We love doing what we do and we are so happy to work together!